By Afro News Reporter, Ariadne Sawyer.
Made in scenic Montreal and surrounding rural areas, this film follows the adventures of Norbert (Pierre Lebeau, Winner of the Grand Prize of the Americas at the 2009 World Film Festival, 2009 for his exceptional body of work).
Norbert is forced to return to Canada as an evacuee from a civil war in Africa after spending 20 years doing humanitarian work. He finds himself back in Montreal with ill health, feeling displaced and responsible for his cherished pet monkey Trotsky. Desperate to return to “home” to Africa, he hopes to be a stowaway on a cargo ship but realizes he cannot take his monkey with him. Enter Christophe, (Julien Adam) a confrontational young boy with family problems who becomes an advocate for the monkey. Norbert and Christophe form an unlikely bond in their efforts to find a home for Trotsky and in the process from a bond which helps them to overcome the life challenges while often finding themselves in humorous situations.
Intertwined throughout the movie is beautiful and evocative music by Ned Bouhalassa and Oumar Ndiaye; Norbert’s longing for Africa and images of death skillfully played by the actress Louise Ricer.
The movie illustrates the need to return by many non Africans who have lived in Africa and many years later still think of the African Continent as home.
A university professor of mine who specialized in Neuroscience mentioned that this “homing instinct “could be genetically based in some individuals.
After the showing, the director Roger Cantin took questions from the audience and showed us how he edited the film on his laptop.
Skillfully directed by Roger Cantin and produced by Rock Demers, the film was the Winner of The Audience Award for Most Popular Canadian Film, Montreal, 2009.
The film is in French with English subtitles and was worth seeing at the International Film Festival.
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